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Global Guide to Divorce
Jack Jack the Cat

Travel the World and Not Break the Bank

There are ways to explore exotic locales or places closer to home and not break the bank. The Travel Bug is in our family’s DNA, so I had to learn some financial shortcuts to make this possible. I am in a group which meets regularly to swap travel stories and tips. Cruise and tour companies that I patronize, send e-mails with  promotions and savings. My travel agents have alerted me when there were travel bargains. Ask around for friends’ travel tips. One recommended an agency with incredible prices for package tours and my sons and I went to India with them. I have been to nearly seventy countries and have a few tricks to make globe-trotting feasible.   

One major method for getting airline tickets is my credit card through an airline. I rack up more miles by having an airline sponsored one, rather than a generic card through a bank, with miles used for various airlines. My friends that have cash back cards do not get enough for the equivalent of free airline tickets. Usually I have enough miles for my two sons to go to another continent every year or so. I skip the airline credit card with extra perks- such as several passes to the airport lounge – and get the one that accumulates the most miles with purchases. I put everything on that card. I only get a haircut or pedicure with aestheticians who take plastic. Any repair or tradespeople have to accept my visa, or I get someone else. I pay utilities, grocery, petrol, and school fees with my Visa. Gov.UK charges a 1.4% fee for using a credit card to pay taxes. Even with a fee, it is still worthwhile for me to pay all of my taxes with my airline Visa card. I only charge what I can pay off in entirety each month, so do not accrue any interest charges. My utility companies charge a nominal fee per transaction (not monthly) to use a credit card for payments. I pay ahead so only pay 3 to 4 transaction fees per year.

Travel Around the World

See if your professional organization has trips or conferences in far flung places. I used  a travel agency that had trips for four types of professionals, with nursing being  one of them. I went to Kenya, Poland, Prague, China and so many other places for a much lower price. In the States, the Internal Revenue Service allows one international business trip a year to be taken off one’s taxes. Some professional meetings are held on curise ships for Continuing Education requirements.  

Ways to cut lodging costs when traveling: My mum took me on a trip to Washington D.C and we stayed in a dorm room and ate some meals there in Georgetown University’s cafeteria. The American travel guru Rick Steves, recommends taking a packaged tour, but opting out on some of the city excursions. The price and convenience makes it worthwhile to forgo a few paid local tours and balance the trip with some alone time away from the group. A few people have been pleased with doing house swaps with strangers for a few weeks. Make sure to do this through a reputable company. I went to several travel talks where people recommended doing volunteer work through organizations, such as EarthWatch.

The big way to have money to travel is to live simply. When extra money comes my way, it immediately goes to the travel fund. We have a bright teal canister from Marrakesh which contains coins found on the ground and any extra cash. It is amazing how throwing in coins and five pounds here and there adds up to a holiday.  I bought new designer clothes at charity shops. Go to free or nearly free concerts and events. Scrutinize your expenditures to see what can go. Pare down your gift list and inform these recipients (who probably have been wanting to do this too). Meet friends for lattes instead of a meal. Do an inventory off your possessions, sell what you can live without. Metal shops pay for battered sterling silverware and broken necklace chains. Do you have family china or other heirlooms that you do not really want? Sell them and cherish the travel experience in memory of your departed relative. Be creative in slashing costs and discovering fabulous travel deals.